Electric vehicles VS thermal engine vehicles (environmental facts) : part 2
In the earlier article, I treated electrical vehicles manufacturing, their emissions, footprint, and simulation.
Now, the second part will be dedicated to the internal combustion vehicles, before concluding with a footprint comparison. As the EV’s, let’s start with manufacturing
Manufacturing the average internal combustion vehicle produces seven 7 metric tons of co2. This number takes into account everything from the mining ore for steel to the moment the car rolls off the production line. That number is lower than EVs because of the absence of lithium-ion batteries. it also has to do with how efficient ICE manufacturing has become. we’re talking about the industry that is responsible for inventing the assembly line. After the car rolls out of the factory, greenhouse emissions from gasoline-powered cars average around 5.2 metric tons per year, and that’s if the car drives the national average of about 11,800 miles (19,000 Km) per year. Over the lifespan of a car, it’s responsible for 57 metric tons of co2, that’s 7 for production and 50 in emissions. Gasoline, like lithium, has to be mined. The average car in the US goes through about 500 gallons (1890 litter) of gas per year, and that gas, like lithium in the batteries, has to come from somewhere.
There are a lot of steps between the extraction of crude oil to you filling your car at the gas station, and each step has an environmental impact. Crude oil extraction starts with drilling into the earth, either on land or on the ocean floor. After the crude oil is mined, it needs to be refined into gasoline and other petroleum products such as jet fuel, petroleum jelly, and plastic. This process releases tons of greenhouse gases, including not only co2 but methane and nitrous oxide as well. Every day around the world, close to 100 million barrels of oil are produced, and everyday oil refinement is responsible for emitting 77 million tons of co2 into the atmosphere. Sure, the average car is responsible for 5.2 tons of co2 every year, but oil refineries release a whopping 280 billion metric tons of co2 in that same timeframe
We know that over the average lifespan of a car with an internal combustion engine, It will emit roughly 57 metric tons of co2. Over the same time period, the average EV is responsible for 28 metric tons of emissions, less than half of that OF an ICE (internal combustion engine). Despite the fact that electric vehicles make more co2 during their production, they more than make up for it by not having any emissions during use. Taking into account the emissions produced by electric power-plants that electric vehicles source their power from, the average for an EV is rounded to 2 metric tons per year. So that means the average EV will become more efficient than a gas-powered car between six months to tow 2 years of driving it. In fact, even the least efficient electric vehicle with the dirtiest power source, like a coal power-plants, will be better for the environment than the most efficient gas engine after a certain period of time. Electric Vehicles in states with access to cleaner electricity like windmills, solar and hydroelectric power-plants are significantly more efficient.
To make a conclusion to this comparison and according to all previous statistics, it’s clear that electric vehicles have less of an environmental impact than gas-powered cars, but we need to admit that EV’s are not perfect either.